A signature song from the 1966 Broadway musical “Mame” declares: “I need a little Christmas now!” Don’t know about you, but I could use A WHOLE LOT of Christmas NOW! It’s been a tough year and we’re all really ready to leave it behind. We need the joy of Christmas.
Not the presents. What I want is the presence of my sons, daughter-in-law and one-month-old grandson. I want noise and singing in the house, and baby coos and cries. Smells of cooking and baking and crowding and laughter in the kitchen. A pile of shoes by the back door. None of that is happening. None of us get Christmas as usual this year.
But we still get the joy of Christmas. Jesus still comes to us as a baby. Jesus is still Emmanuel, God with us, who will be with us always. And perhaps more than most years, we realize that God has indeed been with us as we trudged through 2020. Our fears have eased as we learned more about COVID-19 and how to guard against it, and now with vaccines becoming available, we have hope for a better year ahead.
In Sunday’s scripture from Isaiah, God promises us joy and urges us to experience it – to rejoice. To believe, to trust, to rest in the knowledge of his great love for us – his love that sent us Jesus, God’s Son, to be our savior. This is the joy of Christmas. Nothing, nothing can take this away from us. And perhaps this year, in the greater quiet of this Christmas season, we will experience it more profoundly.
Heavenly Father, thank you for sending us Jesus. Thank you for giving us joy. Help us to rejoice as we celebrate this very different Christmas. Amen.
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.”
Cheryl Stubbendieck is a member of Sheridan’s Devotion Writing Team. She was the public relations department head for Nebraska Farm Bureau before retiring in 2012. She and her husband Jim are the editors of a quarterly journal about antique side-by-side shotguns and Cheryl is the co-leader of Sheridan’s new Card Makers group. Their family includes their son Aaron and his wife Chaitra of San Francisco, CA, and their son Reed of Madison, WI.